But counting on a pliant press corps, Obama knows that he will pay a lesser price than Romney would for being so nasty…

The intensely personal nature of Team Obama’s work on Romney, though, should seemingly be more striking to the political press. While Romney has accused Obama of fecklessness on foreign policy and other issues, he has mainly stuck to policy issues. For Obama it is all about Romney the man, and the president really seems to despise him.

Obama, who has given the green light for members of his cabinet to attend fundraisers for the political action committee, can claim that he’s not directing the attacks himself, but the proximity here is too great to overlook.

But will Obama feel obliged to disown his allies? Will there be an outcry in the press over an ad so vicious and so personal?